Henry Kissinger recovering in hospital after heart valve replacement

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 July, 2014, 10:09pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 July, 2014, 10:09pm

Former US secretary of state and Nobel Peace Prize winner Henry Kissinger had heart surgery in New York and was resting comfortably, hospital officials said.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital said Kissinger, 91, underwent an aortic valve replacement procedure on Tuesday.

The German-born Jewish refugee served as secretary of state under Republican presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, and had a hand in the diplomatic opening of China, landmark US-Soviet arms control talks, expanded ties between Israel and its Arab neighbours and the Paris Peace Accords with North Vietnam.

While many hailed Kissinger for his brilliance and broad experience, some opponents branded him a war criminal for supporting right-wing dictatorships, especially in Latin America.

Following the Paris accords reached in January 1973, Kissinger shared a controversial Nobel Peace Prize with North Vietnam's Le Duc Tho.

After leaving government, Kissinger set up a high-powered consulting firm in New York.

He has also served on corporate boards and various foreign policy and security forums, as well as writing books.